The B-Visa - Temporary Visitor Visa

The B-1 Visa


What kind of visa ?

The B-1 visa can be issued for visitors for business. Although it contains no work permit, the holder of a B-1 visa is allowed to engage in special activities. For example, performing commercial transactions not involving gainful employment in the U.S., negotiating contracts, undertaking independent research, participating in litigation etc. as long as the visitor doesn't work locally or for hire in the U.S. It is not only important that your salary comes from abroad but that you also don't engage in "real" work in the U.S. while being here on a B-1 visa.

Who is eligible ?

Besides the general requirements for being admissible to the U.S., the following ones have to be fulfilled:

Length of Stay in the U.S.

Although an initial stay of one year is possible, normally upon arrival in the U.S. a person with a B-1 visa is usually given an I-94 for a period of time that is appropriate to this trip. ( Two weeks to three months is a common time period granted by the INS. ) Although an extension for up to six months is possible, it is difficult to obtain.


To most aliens, the consular process applies, mainly, because they are still outside the U.S. That means that an application for this visa has to be filed with the consular post having jurisdiction over the applicant. Change of status is also possible if the applicant is already in the U.S., on a valid non-immigrant visa, and wants to change to this type of visa.

Beware of the following

Although a change from a B-1 visitor visa to another visa category is usually possible, you have to show INS that you had no "preconceived intent", that means that you didn't use this visa to avoid another, for example more time consuming, visa procedure. Otherwise, a denial of change of status (and maybe even worse consequences ) could follow. Thus, the possibility of your requesting a change of status inside the U.S., should be mentioned as soon as possible, e.g. when applying for the B-1 visa at the consulate.

The B-2 visa


What kind of visa ?

The B-2 visa is a visa for visitors for pleasure who would like to visit the U.S. for no other but tourist purposes.

Who is eligible ?

Besides being admissible in general, the applicant must show that

Length of Stay in the U.S.

Although an initial stay of one year is possible, normally upon arrival in the U.S. a person with a B-2 visa is usually given an I-94 for a period of six months. An extension for an additional six months is possible.


As already explained for the B-1 visa, either the consular process or change of status can apply, depending on the specific immigration situation of the applicant.


Especially compared to the Visa Waiver Pilot Program ( under which people are admitted into the U.S. without a visa for a maximum stay of 90 days ), the B-2 visa allows a change of status without leaving the U.S. Further, the alien has not given away his/her rights as it would have happen when admitted under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.

For in-depth information, contact Capriotti & Associates to schedule a consultation appointment.

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